On Jul. 18, 2019, Eugene Weekly printed a story that featured local citizens’ presidential choices if the elections were to be held on that day. We were more than a year away from the elections and the tension for the upcoming elections was building; however, we didn’t know who would be on the Decocratic ticket.
That didn’t prevent local business owner and father Perry Adams of Irie Jamaican Kitchen food cart from successfully picking who would be on that ticket and ultimately win the election — Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. EW checked back in with him after his presidential preferences came to pass — although during the first Democratic debate Adams feared maybe it wouldn’t turn out as he had hoped.
“Harris threw him a curve ball in the first debate when she asked him why he was against busing,” Adams says of the debate. “But just like a true leader sometimes you have to take those that challenge you the most and partner with them.”
Biden was once the Democratic Party’s leading anti-busing crusader, according to a July 2019 New York Times article, which called it “a position that put him in league with Southern segregationists, at odds with liberal Republicans, and helped change the dynamic of the Senate.”
Adams says he considers the “journey” of the past four years to be one that has pulled our country apart, and he feels this administration will bring us back together. However, the hypocrisy and double standards are not invisible to him.
“I hear them say Biden is not a law and order candidate, but if you think about what happened with the 1994 crime bill, it did not go easy on criminals. Especially African Americans.” Adams continues, “So how can you say with one breath he’s not for law and order, then say he was hard on African Americans with the crime bill?”
While Adams says he feels America is deeply divided and has many issues that need to be handled, the one he feels needs to be handled first is the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Right now we don’t have a united front on COVID-19. A lot of people don’t like Kate Brown’s approach here in Oregon because she’s shutting things down.” Adams continues, “I give her props. It takes a lot of courage to do that no matter how much it hurts. We can let it run and let a bunch of people die, or we can try to cut if off and give people a chance to survive.”
Adams is also passionate about the Black community and how the U.S. responds to the needs of the community that largely contributed to Biden/Harris winning the election. While he says Biden needs to be a president for all people, he recognizes that the African American community needs better education, opportunities and representation.
“When it comes to African Americans I would hope to see a pathway to education that is easier for working class families, as well as employment opportunities, especially in Oregon.”
Adams continues: “The diversity and inclusion is a little bit of a struggle here in Oregon. When I look at representation I look at it like this: We’ve been invited to the party, which is the diversity part. Then we get asked to dance, which is like the inclusion part. But we were invited, and we are now dancing, but we still feel like we don’t belong. So what I would like to see is how the U.S. can not just include us, but allow us to be who we are. I want us to be accepted for who we are.”